Synopsis of Playing with Matches

Written by TK

Glenn is singing at the club. Richard is hitting on Jenny's mom, Frances, and trying to convince her to give him a chance before she gets married, because all women need to be nasty before they get married. Frances tells Richard she's already been nasty, and if he wants to know just how much, he can ask her fiancé. She walks away, triumphant, and Richard is left drooling and frustrated.

Opening sequence

In the office
Jenny is with Ally, and she's trying on her bridesmaid's dress for her mother's wedding, and thinks she looks horrible. Tim, her mother's fiancé, walks in and assures her she looks fine. Jenny takes off to look at herself in a mirror. Tim tells Ally he thinks she still doesn't trust him. Ally says she thinks Tim and Frances getting married is great, it gives her hope that a younger man will still find her attractive when she's fifty. Tim says he doesn't think Ally has to worry, and stares at her in a way that makes her uncomfortable.

Kimmy Bishop shows up and gives John a note about her latest problem because she's so ashamed she can't talk about it. Kimmy gave a matchmaker $23,000 to find her a match, and the matchmaker returned the money after three months saying Kimmy was "unmatchable." Kimmy asks John to represent her in the trial that starts in one hour, and John gets Coretta to second-chair.

Milter's waiting room
Ally goes to see her therapist, Milter, and hallucinates a boy in the waiting room who is holding ice skates and singing "Last Dance" by Donna Summer in Vonda Shepard's voice.

Court room
It's Kimmy's trial, and she's in the witness box and the court room is viewing the tape she made for the matchmaking company. Her usually prissiness comes out on the stand, and she starts to have an eye twitch at one point which brings out John's mouth twitch. Kimmy admits to the judge that she's basically hurt by being called "unmatchable" by the matchmaker.

Milter's office
Ally tells Milter how she thinks Tim was hitting on her, and asks him if she should tell Frances. Milter says yes, she should, but then falls back on a Maybe. Ally leaves, frustrated, and hallucinates the little boy again. The little boy says he needs some air. She's very confused by this latest hallucination.

Glenn tells Ally that she should tell about Tim. Jenny overhears a bit, so Ally admits to Jenny that she thinks Tim hit on her. Jenny tells Ally that she needs to know for sure before she tells her mom, and tells Ally to go try to entrap Tim into something more substantial.

Court room
Harriet is in the witness box. John asks why she had to tell Kimmy she was unmatchable, and Harriet says she was just trying to protect Kimmy from other matchmakers who might not be so kind as to refund her money. John accuses Harriet of being mean to Kimmy because she was angry at herself for not matching her properly. Harriet claims that she's good at what she does, and points to all the happy couples in the court room there to support her. She bursts into song, singing "The Matchmaker" from "Fiddler on the Roof" which she claims is their theme song. They couples in the court room all chime in, despite the judge and John protesting, and even Kimmy chimes in for a verse.

Ally asks Richard if she should do this entrapment thing, and Richard says she would be being a good friend to Jenny if she did. Ally briefly sees her hallucinated boy again.

The office
Ally tries to convince Elaine to seduce Tim, but when Tim shows up at Ally's request, Elaine turns on her bra that moves her breasts around and both Tim and Ally are horrified and slightly disgusted. Ally takes Tim into her office and mentions how she sort of felt like he was attracted to her before, and how if he wanted to have a fling before he got married, she might be interested. He says he's not interested in a fling, but as he's leaving, he adds that if she's interested in a full-blown affair, he would definitely be up for that.

Ally's office
Ally tells Jenny and Glenn what happened. Jenny feels nauseous. Frances comes in, and Ally tells her what happened. Frances says it's not a big deal, she and Tim have an open relationship and plan on having an open marriage. She says it wasn't great that he hit on a friend of her daughter's, but in general, his hitting on someone else is not a big deal. Frances leaves. Jenny is shocked and says this isn't like her mother. Jenny and Glenn leave. Ally sees the boy again, and he tells her that she's killing him.

The office
Glenn tells Richard what happened with Frances and Richard says that it's an abomination of marriage... but he's interested that Frances is allowed to have affairs. Glenn says she probably wouldn't have an affair with a friend of her daughter's. Coretta tells John she found another woman whom Harriet couldn't set up. John says he doesn't like surprises, but Coretta assures him that the surprise will be on the opposition.

Milter's office
Ally is disturbed by the whole open marriage thing, and Milter tries to assure her that it's perfectly natural. Ally says it makes her feel even more hopeless about love. Milter asks her about the boy she's been hallucinating. Ally says it's no big deal. Milter says it's a big deal if her hallucination tells her she's killing him.

The bar
Frances tries to explain to Jenny how this open marriage thing works. Jenny asks her mom if she's happy. Frances assures her that she is.

Court room
The woman Coretta found, Candy, is in the witness box, and testifies to John how Harriet was unable to set her up successfully. Opposing counsel gets up to question Candy and mentions how she likes to bring a full spotlight around with her everywhere she goes. Candy admits that this is true, and has her technician turn on her spotlight in the court room. John and Coretta are horrified.

Outside court room
John yells at Coretta that she lost them the case, and Coretta yells back at him.

The bar
Ally is comforting John because John thinks that today in the court room was a disaster. Suddenly, Vonda begins singing "Last Dance" by Donna Summer. Ally recognizes it as what the boy sang to her, and grabs John to go out on the dance floor. Ally lets loose, and by the time the song is over she has the dance floor to herself and Vonda is basically singing only to her.

Unisex, the next day
Ally looks around for the boy, and finally sees him again with his ice skates. He asks her if she remembers, and is shocked when she doesn't. Richard comes in and asks Ally what's wrong.

The office
Coretta and John are still yelling at each other, but Coretta says she has a plan.

Richard's office
Ally confides in Richard about the boy and how she doesn't recognize him. She admits that she used to ice skate when she was a kid and pretend she was in love, since pairs ice skaters always looked like they were so much in love. Richard thinks the boy represents the part of Ally that believed in love, and that's why the boy says that Ally is killing him, because Ally is starting not to believe in love.

Court room
Coretta questions Harriet, and points out various people in the court room and asks if Harriet could set them up. Harriet says yes to everyone, including an enthusiastic yes for Coretta's last choice... who happens to be Kimmy in diguise.

Conference room
Harriet and Kimmy conference with their lawyers. Harriet claims that Kimmy only made these physical changes to win her court case. Kimmy says she's willing to make some compromises if that would make her more matchable, although she won't change who she is. Harriet says she'll give Kimmy another try.

Scenes from Tim and Frances's wedding. Kimmy is there, still in disguise, and Raymond gives her a wink.

Ally's office
Ally and John are sitting around talking. Ally can't believe the wedding actually happened. She's still worried that the part of her that believes in love is dead. John points out that the boy said he was dying, not dead. John says maybe the first step in believing in love again is to pretend like she did when she was a child.

Wedding reception at the bar
Harriet sings. John and Coretta apologize to each other and John asks Coretta to dance. Ally tells Jenny and Glenn that she's going skating.

Skating rink
Ally watches the happy couples go round and round, and then gets out on the ice and joins them. In her mind, she has the ice to herself and does an Olympic-worthy ice skating routine.

The bar, montage
John and Coretta dancing. Raymond and Kimmy dancing. Nelle sitting alone drinking. Glenn and Jenny dancing. Frances and Tim dancing.

Ally continues to skate, finishes her routine, and keeps skating around in circles with all the other people on the ice... smiling.

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